An Ideal Dayboat
Some people call boats like the Back Cove 30 “lobster yachts”, we guess in an effort to identify with the simple, rugged working craft used to harvest everybody’s favorite crustacean. But the only lobster you’ll find aboard the Back Cove 30 will be swimming in melted butter, so maybe “Downeast express” is a more accurate moniker.
Whatever you call her, the Back Cove 30 is set up to be an ideal dayboat, with lots of comfortable, built-in seating in the deckhouse, cockpit and cabin. One can leave the folding deck chairs on the dock. The tradeoff is limited cruising accommodations.
The Cockpit is for Sitting
Typical of this style yacht, the Back Cove’s cockpit is comfortable but not overly spacious, with corner lounges on both sides of the transom door occupying a good deal of space. It's a fine layout for socializing, but not for the fisherman. (Don’t even think of piling lobster pots here!) A swim platform, with a hot and cold shower, is standard facilitating watersports not involving a hook.
Here at BoatTEST.com we're of differing opinions as to how a transom door should be hinged: Should it open in or out? We can argue either way. The folks at Back Cove Yachts designed the transom door on the Back Cove 30 to open out, so it doesn't intrude into the cockpit. That sounds fine to about half of us at BoatTEST.
In the cabin, the Back Cove 30 has basic but adequate accommodations, typical for a 30' (9.14 m) boat. On the other hand, in the forward section of the cabin where most builders waste space on seldom-used V-berths, Back Cove created a comfortable seating area with a small table for drinks or a continental breakfast. It will convert to V-berths with filler when necessary. And there is a well-appointed head.
The galley has a dual-voltage refrigerator/freezer, a single-burner alcohol/electric cooktop and a microwave oven. Cooking on an alcohol burner is torture, so if you want hot food underway, we suggest they spring for the 4 kW genset or the 1800-watt inverter. We'd choose the inverter, to keep the mechanicals simple, add no excess weight and to save some money on the purchase price, too.
There's stowage under almost every flat surface, and a half-height cedar-lined hanging locker. There’s both overhead lighting and reading lights for each side of the berth, and an XM radio-ready, remote-controlled sound system with CD player and MP3 jack. Back Cove offers a selection of color schemes and fabrics; air conditioning is also optional.
Efficiency was an important goal of the Back Cove design team and that means building as light and slippery a boat as possible, consistent with strength. The Back Cove 30 rides on a deep-V hull (16 degrees deadrise aft) powered by a single diesel, in this case spinning a prop tucked-up in a pocket to minimize draft and reduce shaft angle.
Lightweight also demands less power, so a single diesel is plenty strong and economical, both to buy and to operate. To that end, the builder employs first-rate construction techniques: A resin-infused fiberglass laminate for maximum strength at minimum weight, with PVC foam coring in the hull, and end-grain balsa in the decks.
Base power, a 320-hp Yanmar 8LV electronic common rail diesel, produces 26.7 knots max, 20 knots cruise, according to the builder, but the boater can go faster: Power options up to 370 horses are available: A Yanmar 370-hp 8LV or a Volvo Penta D6 370-hp. Our test boat was powered with the 370-hp Yanmar 8LV which pushed the boat to 28.3 knots WOT, cruise at 23.4 knots.
A bow thruster is standard, a stern thruster optional. One doesn't need pod drives to maneuver a boat in tight places; spend an afternoon practicing and they'll do fine squeezing the Back Cove 30 into tight spaces, especially if they add the stern thruster.
If someone is into serious long-term cruising, fishing or active watersports, we don't think the Back Cove 30 is for them. On the other hand, if one enjoys inviting friends along for day trips, or just want plenty of room to spread out when boating with their significant other, the 30 could be just what the doctor ordered. She has good performance at reasonable fuel burn; lots of comfortable seating, both sheltered and in the cockpit; compact but adequate accommodations for occasional overnights; a seaworthy hull if the weather turns sour and a secure deck house to keep the captain happy even in the rain. What's not to like?
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Back Cove 30 (2015-) is 32.6 mph (52.5 kph), burning 18.70 gallons per hour (gph) or 70.78 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Back Cove 30 (2015-) is 27.0 mph (43.5 kph), and the boat gets 2.04 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.87 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 301 miles (484.41 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 370-hp Yanmar 8LV-370.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!